If your dog hates being groomed, this might make this critical aspect of pet care difficult. Don't despair because there are things you can do to help. Read on to learn 5 ways to alleviate grooming anxiety and make grooming more pleasant for both you and your dog.
1. De-stress the Journey to the Groomer
If your dog isn't used to travelling by car, the journey to the groomer can be as stressful as the grooming. Preparing your dog for stress-free trips starts when they are a puppy.
Get your puppy used to the motion and sound of a car drive. Even an older dog can get used to car trips if you start with short journeys and build up to longer ones.
Make the experience a positive one by letting them have a familiar blanket or toy. Make them comfortable and use restraints to keep them safe. Have treats such as tasty snacks during the journey and a walk and play after the car ride..
2. Train Your Dog for Handling
Train your dog to get them used to the experience of being touched at the groomer. Massage your dog, and be sure to touch those areas that the groomer will touch. Use grooming combs and brushes to familiarize your dog with the equipment.
Your dog's muzzle, ears, and eyes should come in for attention. Don't leave out their rear and tail as well as their paws. If the dog reacts badly to touching these areas, stroke them in a less sensitive area, and reward any progress towards more sensitive areas with a treat.
3. Practice Visiting the Groomer
The groomer's facilities may seem strange and uncomfortable for your dog. You can make their visit to the groomer a much more pleasant one by practicing visits without the stress of a grooming treatment.
Ask your groomer if you can visit the facilities and take a tour. Let your dog see and hear the strange equipment. You could even introduce them to a grooming table instead of being groomed and rewarding them for standing on it.
4. Exercise Before Grooming
Help your dog dissipate their energy by exercising before a visit to the groomer. Once they are tired, grooming will be much less likely to upset them. Tiredness tends to calm a nervous dog.
5. Find the Right Groomer
Find a groomer that has a tender, caring touch and knows how to restrain a dog while grooming. Check their reputation and discuss your dog's needs with them before taking your dog to be groomed.
Find a groomer with a close association with a veterinary service. They'll know how to sedate your dog for grooming if necessary.
Look for a groomer who combines a pampering beauty treatment with health-giving treatments too. It's not just about baths and fluff drying. Your dog needs dental care and their nails trimmed too.
Overcome Grooming Anxiety
Your dog's grooming anxiety can cause you anxiety too. Help them overcome the anxiety, and you'll feel better also. Grooming can and should be a time for relaxed pampering and healthcare. Call us to discuss your dog's grooming needs right now.